Creating The Enchanting and Inclusive Tours at the Palais Garnier

Client Description

The Palais Garnier Opera House is a 19th-century architectural masterpiece, built by Charles Garnier and opened in 1875. It is one of the most famous opera houses in the world and a symbol of Paris, that can be visited during the day and that hosts ballets and operas at night.

It is home to monumental treasures such as the magnificent double staircase leading to the various floors of the theatre or the horseshoe-shaped “French” auditorium with the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.

Challenge  

Looking to establish its first ever guided tour of the site, the Opera National de Paris needed a tour services provider to establish, as well as perform all site tour operations. Developing a memorable experience for visitors with an inside look at the opera house required a creative tour content provider. Palais Garnier having a reputation of excellency in its domains, it was really important to match this very high standard, and to make an audio guide worthy of its reputation.

Solution

In 2013, the opera house partnered with Antenna International, who have provided both the operational side of tour services, for guided and unaccompanied tours, as well as the creative content production including:

  • Individual, family and kids, access and VIP tour content
  • Tour devices
  • Group-tour system
  • On-site staff with a desk at entrance and exit

bespoke tour content is the result of collaboration between the Opera National de Paris team and the Antenna creative team. Together, they have created exciting tours catering for all types of visitors from around the globe, available in 10 languages and with an access tour for people with disabilities.

The individual tour, presenting archive material and interviews with experts on the Opera and its history, allows the visitor to explore the architecture, history, legends and secrets of Charles Garnier’s masterpiece.

This one-hour tour is a linear tour where guests follow an itinerary and stop at certain points to focus on a particular aspect of the building.

This multimedia tour is on an iPod and allows users to view pictures to help identify what is being referenced in the opera space. The visitor can also navigate through an interactive map.

The family and children’s tour is also on an iPod. The phantom of the Opera is the main character of this 1 hour-interactive tour (games at every stage of the tour plus a quiz at the end).

The VIP tour, on iPad mini, provides a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the opera house. This extended one-hour-and-a-half tour offers visitors an intriguing “peak behind the curtain” and enhances their understanding and appreciation of opera performance. The visitor is invited to virtually penetrate one some of the Opera’s secret places; inspect Marc Chagall’s ceiling; explore the façade and learn about Palais Garnier’s history through an interactive timeline.

Each tour stresses the importance and celebration of music, weaving in music to give visitors an insight of what a night at the opera might sound like.

The temporary exhibitions are also accessible in the tours.

Outcome

The opera house is very pleased with Antenna’s work. Since establishing a tour, the Palais Garnier, Opera National de Paris sees an average of 60,000 people a year for tours alone. Even better, these visitors have plenty of positive feedback:

  • “I don’t know how many times I have visited the Palais Garnier over the years, but it must be one of my favouritelandmarks in Paris. Do take the audio tour which gives a great study of the architecture and decoration which for some can be overwhelming. Take your time, and don’t forget to go out on the balcony for the view! ” Visitor, Boston, Massachusettes US
  • “Thrilling architecture of the grand old style. The audio tour is worth the price” Visitor, Atlanta, Georgia US
  • “The audio tour is well worth doing as it highlights the history of the building and allowed us to admire at our own pace.” Visitor
  • The audio tour with tablets was well worth the money and gave the history of the building and lots of clever insights.” Visitor Northamptonshire, UK

Contact us to find out more about this or any of our other projects.

Contact Us
Palais Garnier
Country: France
City: Paris
Institution Type: Historic/Heritage
Year Founded: 1875
Content Type: Multimedia
Tour Type: Kids/Teens, Adult, Family, Access

Partner with Antenna

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About Us

We are innovative storymakers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences.

We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and superior story-driven content for the museum and cultural sector.

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